There are many questions in shipping industry which seem to be mysteries  of the ancient shipping times with as many theories floating. And one of these question is “Why Captain’s cabin is always on Starboard side?” Here is what I have gathered during my sea career.

Captain’s cabin on the starboard side is a tradition that has been since many years but there has been some exceptions to it where captain’s cabin is on port side. Leaving aside the exceptions, in old days, the starboard side was considered superior to port side in every sense, be it flag etiquettes or two watch system in old days where more experienced staff used to keep watch on starboard side, the starboard side was considered superior to port side. Captain being overall incharge of the ship was considered superior to all the crew onboard and was given superior side of the ship.

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In modern days however it is not superiority that is considered for captain cabin to starboard side. Starboard side is give way side in ROR (Rule of the road) and captain is expected to see the traffic on starboard side of his ship just to be aware of the traffic situation where it is his ship’s duty to take action. He can then also monitor if the officer on watch has taken the required action to avoid close quarter situation.

Do you have any other theory  or do you agree with this explanation ?  Do you have any other such question ? Leave a comment.

Meanwhile wishing you all fair winds and following seas.

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Capt Rajeev Jassal

About Capt Rajeev Jassal

Capt. Rajeev Jassal has sailed for over 19 years mainly on crude oil, product and chemical tankers. He holds MBA in shipping & Logistics degree from London. He has done extensive research on quantitatively measuring Safety culture onboard and safety climate ashore which he believes is the most important element for safer shipping.

11 Comments

Siva Chidhu
Siva Chidhu
Jun 16, 2016

hello sir, iam following all ur blogs, after sailing for so many years, i never thought why captai cabin in stbd side. very impressive explanations, i need more blogs from u sir. So that we can gain ur knoweldge & experience. your blogs are so nice & very easy to understand

Rajeev Jassal
Rajeev Jassal
Jun 16, 2016

Glad that you are liking it Siva. We are trying to post at least one blog a week. We are also working on with other masters and chief engineers to share their knowledge and you will have many more blogs in the near future. Keep reading.

SHAN
SHAN
Jul 17, 2016

Very Informative Please share some info on final topping off Product/ crude cargo what are the key points to consider not to over load or over exceed the draft

Rajeev Jassal
Rajeev Jassal
Jul 18, 2016

I will consider that topic to write on Shan..

Francis Escobia
Francis Escobia
Jul 16, 2016

hello sir. im a filipino seafarer and ive been following your blogs. i find yours very useful! i am very thankful that a great captain like you share your knowledge to the young and future generation of seafarers. more power!

Rajeev Jassal
Rajeev Jassal
Jul 18, 2016

Thanks for reading the blogs Francis. Please let me know if you have any question anytime or need any help..

Francis Escobia
Francis Escobia
Jul 20, 2016

i only got a suggestion sir if you could write an article about how new seafarers should start their seafaring career (mindset, goals, etc) especially these days that we are exposed with so many requirements, laws, compliance, which are to be strictly followed and shipping industry is shifting into faster pace every year. New generation of seafarers in the industry might not be able to keep up with this pace and might give up seafaring career at the early stage.

Francis Escobia
Francis Escobia
Jul 20, 2016

i hope it also contain information on time management. With the improvement and technologically-advanced industry that we have, new guys tend to be over-reliant to this technology and forget the basics ( im guilty on this ). Thank you sir. Have a great day

Rajeev Jassal
Rajeev Jassal
Jul 20, 2016

This is a good topic to write about Francis and I will write on that. But you are undermining the potential of our young seafarers. I must say that due to changing circumstances we as seniors, trainers and the companies have not been able to guide/train them properly. This website is an initiative to fill that gap. I will definitely write on the topic you suggested.

Francis Escobia
Francis Escobia
Jul 23, 2016

Thank you so much sir! All the best!

Fu Tang
Fu Tang
Jan 18, 2017

Hi captain, I'm a Chinese third mate, found your blog when searching 'update AVCS with JRC901B ECDIS' and i kept reading other blogs, i like those researches on things we took for granted and professional knowledge-to-plain words transfer style narrative is very easy to absorb, big fan now~

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